Finished Normal People by Sally Rooney, and I’m really not one for reviews, but my god, what a well-written and unbelievably beautiful book. It’s one of those rare books that filled me with so much inspiration with each page I read. Highly recommended.

A sketch I did a few years ago. I want to start drawing again, but I keep finding excuses not to. I stopped because I had plateaued and I grew frustrated with each new sketch. Unlike with writing, I always asked myself what to draw, and I just didn’t know. Just draw, I guess.

Like McCarthy, Rooney doesn’t use quotation marks for dialogue. I like that. Simplify the English language to just periods, commas, and question marks, and maybe an exclamation point here and there.

My daily routine, as of today, so I can remember it later:

  • Wake at 5am
  • Meditate for 15 minutes
  • Journal in my notebook
  • Study Japanese
  • Practice my guitar for 30 minutes
  • Read my book
  • Lunch, the first meal of my day
  • Go through Genki I and add what I can into Anki
  • Workout and close my rings
  • Dinner, the second and last meal of the day
  • Sleep for 8-9 hours

My favorite 1st grader ran up to me and gave me a hug. She wore a black jacket, and she placed her arm beside mine and said, “We’re wearing the same color.”

I looked at her and said, “Black is cool.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Black is my second favorite color.”

“What’s your first favorite?”

“White.”

“Your favorite colors are black and white?”

“Yeah,” she said. “Those are my dad’s favorite colors.”

I looked at her and just smiled because I couldn’t help it.

Woke up early to run some errands and was awarded with a beautiful sunrise. I used Apple ProRAW and my god, what an incredible tool to have when I’m out and about with just my iPhone. I was able to bring out the pinks and the shadows in a way I couldn’t before.

I filled seven notebooks in 2020. This week, I scanned and processed them on my computer.

I filled the first four in the first four months. It took me eight months to fill the last three. This was the effect of Covid-19 on my life last year. It couldn’t be more clear.

I bought my first capo and tried it out for the first time yesterday. Intellectually I knew what a capo was for, but it wasn’t until I clamped it down and played a few chords that I truly understood what it did. It’s incredible! I’m eager to learn new songs with it now.

I have to remember that I’m not as young as I used to be. I can’t keep pushing myself so hard and expect to bounce back like I used to. That’s how I hurt myself last time! Slow down and remember that this isn’t a race.

I’ve been sore every day for the past week, but the last few days have been more painful than normal. I’m on week two of T25: Beta, and on Saturday, I did my first Apple Fitness+ workout. It was a 20 minute HIIT workout with Bakari, then I did two mindful cooldowns with Jessica. Fitness+ is really slick and well-produced, and the trainers are very charismatic and personable. My Beachbody On Demand subscription doesn’t end until October, though, so I’ll enjoy my three month trial of Fitness+ and evaluate it later.

I set a weight loss goal of five pounds back in November, and since then I’ve only lost half a pound. That leads me to believe that my increased workout intensity isn’t enough; I have to focus on my diet and see what I need to change to lose the weight I want. This won’t be easy, but I love having clear goals and a plan to accomplish them. So let’s keep going.

I wasn’t looking forward to returning to work today, but my favorite little 1st grader ran up to me and gave me a big big big hug as soon as she saw me. And now I feel great!

I came across this beautiful quote by Seneca:

There is no enjoying the possession of anything valuable unless one has someone to share it with.

At the start of 2020, a friend tried setting me up with a friend of hers. But then lockdown happened. Maybe things will change in 2021…

The Markup and The New York Times both had stories about Amazon this morning. In 2021, I hope to wean myself off Amazon, but I fear it’ll be a near impossible feat. I live in a rural town, and there are things I can only get on Amazon. But I will try to live simply in 2021.

Writing about social media and anxiety, Emma Warnock-Parkes suggests this tip to improve attention:

Play a music track and practise listening to one instrument at a time, switching between instruments every so often.

I do this and it helps to calm me down all the time.

Ewan McGregor in episode 7 of Long Way Round, after a couple of Russians killed a black bear, skinned it, and took its gallbladder:

It’s a wild animal living in its own habit, and no one’s got any right to shoot it with a gun. It’s disgusting.

Goddamn right. I love this man.

I finally got around to watching the new Mulan movie, and oh my, what a beautifully shot movie it was. Every frame was gorgeous. It was shot by Mandy Walker. I’ll be following her work from now on.

The movie itself was okay. A fun diversion with a very cartoonish antagonist.

Pixar’s Soul was incredible. A great movie to end the craziness that was 2020.

I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a firefighter, but when I moved to Montana, I was penniless and in debt. I moved to Montana to start over, to reinvent myself, and to grow up. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without that experience. I’m grateful for all of it.

I think the thing I’m most grateful for during my time as a firefighter are all the places and things I got to see.

From beautiful sunsets in very remote parts of Montana.

To helicopters dropping buckets of water mere feet from me and onto blazing fires.

And bison roaming the land.

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